What’s the T? does Art Basel Miami Beach
Time for the annual pilgrimage of sun seeking art enthusiasts and their accompanying art advisors, handlers and the like to the city of Miami Beach. The fairs are numerous, spilling over onto the sand and the mainland. This year, my eighth year watching my hometown transform into an art circus, I decided to let the wind blow me where it may. As long as youâ€™re doing something it canâ€™t be that bad. In this special edition of Whatâ€™s the T? weâ€™re serving recap realness and some Miami T for Chicagoâ€™s inquiring minds and wannabe snowbirds alike.
Woke up to the news that Miami B-listers Christian Slater and his girlfriend, Brittany Lopez, tied the knot on Monday. We heard that Slater courted Lopez at her former job at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. Basel Tov!
Why wait until the weekend to party? Even though the â€œbig fair,â€ at the convention center doesnâ€™t open until Wednesday, there are just not enough party hours in the day. By the time we saw Locust Projectâ€™s exhibition by Nicholas Hlobo in their main space and Frances Trombly in the project room it was time. So we begin. Tuesday night marked the opening of Design Miami, the sister fair to Art Basel in Miami as well as in Switzerland.
Design Miami’s sandy tent
Always a classy, champagneâ€™d out affair, this year was no different. It was a pleasure to see Chicago design galleries, Volume (showing Jonathan Munecke) and Casati Gallery (showing David Salkin). Trending this year at DM were lamps that look like floating jars, gigantic sand hills, e-cigs (which appeared to be trending everywhere, I think itâ€™s New Yorkâ€™s fault). In attendance were a number of notables, including 2016 Olympic sailing hopeful, Sarah Newberry and artist, Emmett Moore; another celebrity here; Primary Projectsâ€™ Nick Cindric and Robins Collection Curator and Director of Cultural Programming for the Design District, Tiffany Chestler; Bleeding Palmâ€™s Ronnie Riviera (who made a hilarious Basel Death Clock Site); and Locust Projectâ€™s Amanda Sanfilippo with artist, Justin Long. We even ran into our favorites, LVL3â€™s Vincent Uribe and Anna Mort, dressed impeccably as always.
Bleeding Palmâ€™s Ronnie Riviera
Sarah Newberry & Emmett Moore
Tiffany Chestler & Nick Cindric
Amanda Sanfilippo & Justin Long
Itâ€™s imperative at Basel to never to stop moving and as our party guru says, always leave the party before it gets old, so before too long we were off the island and en route to the Rubell Collectionâ€™s annual shindig at their museum caliber space in Wynwood. Unsurprisingly, the Rubellâ€™s used the occasion (as they do every year) to feature their daughter, Jennifer Rubellâ€™s, excessive food â€œinstallations.â€ One year it was a wall of old fashioned doughnuts, then there was the year with the honey falling out of the sky.
So much egg custard.
This year, Jennifer busted out none other than the tiny-pie seesaw. A monstrously long but narrow white table, completely covered in miniature egg custard pies, slowing moved up and down, while waiters brought around bite sized versions of every other desert option possible on silver platters. There was, of course, a copious amount of alcohol (if youâ€™re paying for drinks during ABMB then something is wrong), Perrier (totes trending and in three flavors), macaroni and cheese in martini glasses (donâ€™t ask me), and fried rice in takeout containers. The party was totally banging, but the tiny custard pies were awful. Among the many illustrious guests were Siebren Versteeg and his new gallerist, Miamiâ€™s Brook Dorsch; artists, Patricia Hernandez and Christina Farah.
Patricia Hernandez & Christina Farah
Kizzy, Dorsch & Versteeg
On our way out we couldnâ€™t resist stopping at the old Perrotin space down the street from the Rubells, The house/ gallery, now Galerie Eva Presenhuber, is simply gorgâ€”classic design and a super sweet back yard, but the party was lame and we werenâ€™t really feeling it.
Disappointed by the quality of the pie and weary of mixing vodka and sugary deserts, it was time for a cheeseburger interlude before moving onto the last stop of the night, Rat Bastardâ€™s fifth annual Anti-Art Becomes Art Show at the only British pub in all of Little Haiti, Churchillâ€™s. We finally got a chance to see Chris Corsano, the wunderkind solo percussionist hailing from Massachusetts.
Chris Corsano at Churchills
In the list of things I wish I made it to but couldnâ€™t was the TM Sisterâ€™s beachside performance at the Untitled fair on Monday and Tuesday night. Also not spotted was Kevin Arrow, though we kept seeing his Kenny Scarf paint-bombed Honda Element driving through Little Haiti.
Another day, another art â€œexperience.â€ We ditched the vernissage (sorry Sly) for the opening of Autumn Caseyâ€™s new curatorial venture, Space Mountain, right next to GucciVitton in North Miami. Being a NMB girl myself, I couldnâ€™t be more excited that great galleries are moving north. Space Mountainâ€™s first show, Big Deal, featured 12 ladies and a drag queen, all born in Miami. Needless to say, it was a big deal. Loved the zebra corner piece by Renata Rojo and the drawn over coasters by Beatriz Monteavaro. We spotted the Hartmannâ€™s; and Miami It-girls, Serena Dominguez and Sarah Attias working it in overalls, side boob and Pikachu really hard. Outside the exhibition there was a serendipitous pop-up bar serving seasonal gourmet cocktails with cider and lattes.
Work by Renata Rojo. Photo by Autumn Casey
Serena Dominguez and Sarah Attias
After some chill times and good vibes at Space Mountain it was time to head to Mana Wynwood for the Kendrick Lamar with Miami fave and all around sweetheart DJ, DZA. After much confusion and a bunch of naked ladies painted by Vanessa Beecroft and Kanye West (Iâ€™ll save you the suspense, Yeezus was a no-show), we found ourselves on a couch in the VIP section popping bottles and waiting for Kendrick. Waiting for Lamar took for-ev-er. Though the event started around 9 or 10 PM, Kendrick Lamar didnâ€™t grace the stage until almost two in the morning. The only thing that made the waiting bearable was DZAâ€™s super danceable sets in between each set.
If we did anything after Kendrick Lamar, it probably shouldnâ€™t be repeated here anyway.